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Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Joins President Obama and CEOs to Discuss Progress on the National Export Initiative

Thursday, December 9, 2010

President Obama Announces First Steps Toward Implementation of New U.S. Export Control System

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke attended the President’s Export Council (PEC) meeting at the White House today, where he updated PEC members on the Commerce Department’s efforts to increase U.S. exports and help American businesses compete globally.

During the meeting, the president announced proposed regulations to reform the U.S. export control system and strengthen national security.  The Commerce Department’s proposed regulations for dual-use items will facilitate more robust secure trade with our partners and allies while imposing new safeguards to ensure that sensitive items are not exported to other locations without U.S. government authorization. 

In addition, the administration launched a new webpage at that will help small- and medium-sized business comply with U.S. export control requirements by consolidating, for the first time, the various screening lists maintained by different departments.

The president also reiterated the critical importance of export promotion in spurring job creation and economic growth in the U.S.  Read the White House news release for more information on the President’s announcement.

After the Council meeting, Locke, UPS CEO Scott Davis, and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns made a statement to members of the media.

Below is a guest blog post co-authored by UPS CEO Scott Davis and Secretary Locke about the importance of exports to the American economy and the opportunities presented by the proposed U.S.-Korea trade agreement:

Robust and global trade drives the world’s economic engine.  And it’s the quickest and surest way we know to accelerate economic growth, create new jobs and improve living standards. 

Now we freely admit that UPS has an interest here.  At any given moment, UPS handles 6 percent of the U.S. GDP and moves 2 percent of the global GDP.  So global trade is important to the future of UPS, and that holds true for its workers, and for workers across America.  Every 22 packages per day that cross a border supports one job in UPS’s package operation.

That’s why UPS is so supportive of President Obama’s recent announcement of a landmark trade deal with South Korea, which is estimated to increase American economic output by more than the last nine trade agreements combined.

UPS’s logistics and lending services empower businesses of all sizes to export their goods and services virtually anywhere in the world, and with the impending passage of this agreement, there will be a lot more businesses to work with. 

The tariff reductions in this deal alone are expected to boost annual exports of American goods by up to $11 billion, supporting at least 70,000 Americans jobs. And an array of American industries will benefit from this deal.

The service sector is a great example – an area where America is a global leader. This agreement will open Korea’s $560 billion services market to more American companies, supporting additional jobs for American workers in sectors ranging from express delivery to engineering to legal and accounting services to education and health care.

American manufacturers and workers also will gain enhanced access to the Korean market and a level playing field to take advantage of that access. 

Under the agreement, Korea will immediately cut in half its tariffs on U.S. auto exports, creating more job-creating export opportunities for U.S. car and truck manufacturers and workers.

The National Association of Manufacturers reports that manufacturing exports to Korea supported 230,000 American jobs in 2008. The reduction of Korea’s tariffs on American manufactured goods is expected to boost this sector's exports and related jobs even further.

And American farmers and ranchers could see their exports to Korea increase by as much as $1.8 billion every year under the U.S.-Korea trade agreement.

Agreements like this are a major step forward in efforts to create and support jobs for American workers and to ensure that the United States remains competitive in the 21st century.

In the months ahead, UPS will be working with the administration's trade experts at USTR and the U.S. Commerce Department to ensure that U.S. businesses can reap the full benefits of this agreement.

This is a big win for the American economy, for American businesses and for its workers.